The House of Representatives has commenced debate on the general principles of the 2017 Appropriation Bill of N7.298tn submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari.
During Tuesday’s plenary, the Majority leader, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, who led the debate on the bill, noted that the 2017 budget was designed to expand public private partnership and complete ongoing infrastructural projects that will impact positively on the economy.
He further expressed optimism that the 2017 budget will help reboot the economy with its massive capital injection and payment of local debts to contractors.
However, he stressed the need for the House to revisit the Steve Oronsanye and Ahmed Joda Reports on the proposed merger of Ministries, Departments and Agencies to reduce cost of governance and free up money for capital expenditure.
The Majority Leader also called for more funds to be injected into the tourism sector to help in the diversification of the economy.
Also speaking, Rep. Mark Gbila (APC-Bernue), advocated for a review of the country’s monetary policy to fast track economic recovery.
In his contribution the Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas, expressed optimism that the Oil Production quota pegged at 2.2 million barrels per day in the 2017 budget was achievable.
However, Rep. Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta), faulted the N305 to a dollar that the budget was predicated on, saying it is unrealistic due to exchange rate volatility.
The debate on the 2017 Budget will continue on Wednesday, January 25, 2017.